Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) Secretary General Gursharan Singh feels the country will produce its best-ever show in the next years Paralympic Games in Tokyo, targeting as many as 15 medals, including five gold.
“I would not be surprised if more than fifty of our para-sports athletes manage to qualify for Tokyo Games in sports like para athletics, para shooting, para badminton and para archery. I am sure 15 will win medals with minimum five gold, “Singh told IANS after eight para-sports athletes were named for national sports awards this year.
Tamil Nadu’s Mariyappan Thangavelu is among the five athletes who would be conferred with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna on August 29, the National Sports Day.
Indian para-sports athletes have been consistently producing good results in recent times. At the Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games, India ended on the ninth place with 72 medals, including 15 gold.
Showering praise on the para-sports athletes, Singh thanked the government for encouraging their achievements. “We are giving good results and that is helping us in nurturing fresh talents for future events. Work is in progress at the grass-root level. We are receiving positive responses from all over India. A good number of athletes are coming forward and want to prove their mettle,” Singh said.
“The Games are next year and hopefully if everything goes well (COVID-19 gets over or vaccine comes), we will make India proud again in the mega sporting spectacle.”
India had sent its largest-ever delegation in the history of summer paralympic games in 2016 with 19 competitors in five sports. India won four medals (2 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze) with Devendra Jhajharia breaking the world record to win a gold medal at the Paralympics. Mariyappan was the first gold medallist for India in 2016 Paralympics.